Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architect, nationalist and poet, of Dublin and Egypt. McDermott was born in Dublin in 1823 and trained as an architect. He may be the 'M. McDermott' who was admitted to the Royal Dublin Society's School of Drawing in Architecture on 7 November 1839.(1) During his early years in Ireland he was better known for his political than his architectural activities; like J.J. MCCARTHY MCCARTHY , he was a lifelong friend of Charles Gavan Duffy; he contributed poems to The Nation and was deeply involved in the 1848 rebellion, being one of the deputation of Young Irelanders who went to Paris in March of that year to solicit support for the Irish cause. He subsequently worked in Egypt, where he held the position of architect to the government from 1866 onwards. He retired to England in 1878 and died in Bristol in April 1905.

Nothing is known of McDermott's architectural career in Ireland, though it is tempting to imagine that he might have worked in the office of J.J. McCarthy, with whom he would have had common political sympathies and personal ties.


All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the entry on McDermott in DNB, 2nd supplement, and the brief obituary in in IB 47, 6 May 1905, 313.

(1) MS. transcript from Royal Dublin Society minutes of School of Drawing in Architecture admissions and prizewinners (in IAA).